The end of 2022 is approaching fast. At the end of the year, many people write down a few personal and professional goals for the upcoming year. Have you set goals and plans for how to excel in your career in 2023? Perhaps you don’t because, for some reason, you can’t seem to stay focused and motivated. You’re not alone. Scranton University conducted a study with 200 individuals who set goals upon the new year and found that only 19% attained the goals by the end of the year. And most of the goals were abandoned by the middle of January.
It is possible to stay focused and achieve your goals. Think of yourself as an athlete running a race. If you watch a runner on a track, you’ll notice the runner is always looking forward and has a narrow focus. The runner keeps a steady pace and builds momentum to finish strong. This is what you need to do with your goals. Let’s review five tips to help you along the way.
How To Set Your Goals
1). Set SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Narrow your focus and be clear when setting your goals. Make sure each goal is specific in what you need to accomplish, can be measured to determine success, is realistic and attainable, aligns with your goals, and has time-related parameters. Check out more about SMART goals and review examples here.
2). Create a plan. Now that you have determined your goals, it’s time to create a plan. The best way to start is to work backwards from each goal. For example, let’s say you want to grow the number of monthly users of your phone app by 1,000 in Q1 of 2023. Now that you know what you need to accomplish, you can work backwards to understand how to achieve the goal. I highly recommend reading Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon to learn more about successfully working backwards.
3). List any new skills you will need. I have written the following sentence in a few of my blogs, so I recognise I might sound like a broken record, but the truth is important. The rate of change is increasing exponentially in the business world. What does this mean? You’ll need new skills to advance your career goals and keep up with industry changes. Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning are just a few applications that allow you to learn and develop new skills via online courses.
4). Share your goals with your colleagues. Let your team members know about your goals and overall plan so they can support you and help hold you accountable along the way. Search for a mentor within your organization willing to provide constructive feedback on your progress—schedule weekly or bi-weekly check-ins to discuss progress and ask for direction if needed.
5). Make course corrections as needed. At the start, you may picture precisely how you will get from point A to point B. However, it’s going to be more like going from point A to point Z. Remember that your plan isn’t written in stone, and you will need to redirect if you find yourself heading in the wrong direction, or when something unexpected happens.
Recap & What’s Next
In all of this, make sure to take time for yourself. Get up and go for a walk, grab that coffee or tea, or read a chapter out of that book you’ve wanted to read. Don’t use all of your energy right away to the point where you struggle to progress and fight burnout.
Remember, you are running a marathon, not a sprint. When runners run a race, they may slow down or even fall. They get back up and keep running, which is how they grow. When you make mistakes, learn from them to avoid repeating and don’t be afraid to ask for help. You will succeed by diving in and learning along the way.
Great things are coming in 2023, and we’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments what you would like to read more about in the Forums in 2023.
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